Third Times the Charm…

If you’ve been following my journey, or happen to be scrolling through my blog archives, you’ll know this is the third time I’ve tried to get The Bump, Birth, Baby Network off the ground.

The first hiatus I took due to pregnancy, maternity leave, and then beginning work full-time instead of part-time.
My second hiatus came abruptly due to unexpected job loss, family obligations, and some unresolved birth trauma. I went from thinking the birth field was going to be my life, to spending 14 months thinking I would never be able to speak about it again.

Well here I am. Trying one last time (I say that now but who knows what the future holds). Starting off slowly. Holding realistic expectations.

I knew there was a reason I didn’t want to let my domain name expire ūüėČ

The plan currently is:

  • Begin offering childbirth education classes again
  • Re-establish connections in the birth community
  • Launch my teen parent outreach program
  • Starting in fall 2019 offer doula and photography services again

Wish me luck!
Kelsey

“I didn’t know you struggled”

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a sneaky little b*tch, and that’s saying it nicely. It can make you feel unworthy, angry, exhausted, sad, irritable, zombie like, anxious, paranoid, paralyzed, or worse all of those at the same time.

In 5 months my son will turn 3 but it wasn’t until yesterday that I finally opened up to my family about my battle with PPD after his birth.

“I didn’t know you had struggled postpartum. Why didn’t you ask for help?”

In the moment when asked that I just shrugged, but now I have an answer, multiple answers actually. Answers that I’m sure others have, can, or will relate to.

So here are some¬†reasons why someone may not tell you they’re struggling after baby:

IT’S JUST TEMPORARY¬†

My story goes: unexpected birth complications, mastitis, uterine infection, baby hospitalized at 5 weeks old, then back to work way too quickly; it was a mess! What ever your story is, it’s easy to brush PPD off as a temporary feeling, situational, or the baby blues practically everyone gets. Before you know it, weeks or months have passed by and you’re still telling yourself it will go away.¬†

I DON’T WANT TO WORRY MY LOVED ONES

Since my rationale was that this was a temporary situation, why bother worrying everyone? If I started to feel better I didn’t want people checking in on me or not believing me if I told them I was ok.

IT’S ALL IN MY HEAD¬†

“I didn’t feel this way after my first baby so I must be over exaggerating things.” “If I could get one more hour of sleep this would all go away.” “I just need to suck it up”¬†

All of these were lies I told myself to keep from seeking help. My friends around me with double the kids were fine; I should be able to handle two no problem. Anything getting in my way was self inflicted and if I could get out of my own mind I’d be good to go. I was really good at giving myself pep talks about staying miserable and accepting the new normal.¬†

I DON’T WANT MEDICATION

Being a big believer in treat the cause not the symptom, I very strongly wanted to avoid medication. I believe there is a time and a place for everything and I know many people who swear by medication for depression but that wasn’t the path I wanted to seek first. Originally I didn’t speak out to anyone because of my fear of that being the ONLY recommendation I would get from people.

I’M STILL ABLE TO GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS¬†

¬†I was one of the “lucky” ones who realized before it was over that I had fallen into a depression,¬†I told myself if there was ever a day I couldn’t get out of bed I would ask for help. That day never came. I could keep my kids safe and fed and get to work mostly on time, so naturally I thought I was doing better than a lot of people.

I kept going through each day praying for bedtime to come earlier and earlier.

I woke up each morning in tears but still managed to get moving.

Only now do I realize it shouldn’t have been that hard to get through the day.

I DON’T WANT TO BE A CHARITY CASE

For some reason I imagined confessing my inability to feed myself properly each day and having a line of people at my door ready to donate food. I imagined expressing my loneliness and having friends ask daily “what do you need today?”. I imagined talking about my financial concerns and someone setting up a gofundme account or coming clean about the thoughts I was having and someone offering to pay my psychiatrist visits and medication.

I didn’t want hand outs, but I did need a hand and was too afraid to ask.¬†

IT’S NOT PSYCHOSIS¬†

There is a huge difference between depression and psychosis, but I didn’t always know that. I didn’t want to harm my children so what I was feeling couldn’t be depression! I thought to have PPD you had to wind up on the 6:00 news. I never imagined there could be such a range of symptoms and that PPD affects at least 1 out of every 7 moms.

Mothers and their partners need more education on the warning signs of depression and the signs of psychosis so they know if and when a call to 911 is needed. 

I can’t tell you when I finally made progress and began to feel better. It was a gradual climb with a few roller coaster hills, but it DID get better. I know so many moms who look back and wish they had asked for help. You don’t have to go through this battle alone!

Here are just a few local resources for PPD:

Dallas Postpartum Support

Wings For Wellnesss

Nappy Shoppe Pre/Postpartum Mom’s Group

Postpartum Progress Online Support

 

First Semester…PAID!

WOW!

That is all I can think to say right now. I am honestly still in shock and just feeling overwhelmed with excitement ūüôā

When I started this journey I was genuinely thinking it was not going to go well. I knew I would receive some help from friends and family but being holiday time and deciding on such short notice that I wanted to raise money for tuition I knew my first student loan was just around the corner. I was WRONG!

24 hours before registration I was $270 short of my goal. I was excited that over half was taken care of, but thought one last Facebook reminder wouldn’t hurt. In a couple hours I was up $50 more and when I got a text from a birth class student that said “we just donated the rest” I burst into tears. My sister also informed me that my Christmas gift is another donation towards tuition putting me $40 above my goal! Before revealing that I had met my goal I got a text from another dear friend saying she had been praying that I would meet my goal today. My heart is filled with joy right now. I will be able to take ALL the classes I need to stay on track and get my school journey off on the right foot. This is such and enormous burden off my shoulders I cannot even begin to express my gratitude towards everyone who has donated, prayed, and wished me well!

I promise to keep everyone update with how school goes. I feel extra accountable knowing that people are investing in my education. I will not let you down!

College life here I come!

Fundraising OPEN!

college-savings-1

My “Support” Page has been updated and my fundraising campaign is ready to go! I am super nervous and excited to see how this goes. I truly hope my expectations are blown out of the water and I have plenty of funds left over to start a “Future Midwife Scholarship” (creative name ideas for the scholarship are welcome). This dream is not for me; it is for the families that deserve to have access to midwifery care.

Officially a Student

Well it’s official, I’m a college student!

I have to admit, every time I walk into the building I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack. This is so foreign to me. I honestly don’t understand how high school kids do it. Then again I guess it’s not a big decision for most, it’s just a give in. Everything in high school is to prep you for college, but for us who have no idea what they want to do at that point, it’s all just gibberish. I never attended any prep meetings, toured campuses, or spoke with advisers, I just graduated and went straight to work. It took 3 trips, 1 assessment activity, and a 3 hour placement test, but I did it. Not only did I do it, I actually did it well. This gave me hope; I haven’t lost all my knowledge!

 

IMAG0799-1

So class enrollment start December 6th! My tuition will be about $500 which at this time I do not have. I plan to start a fundraising campaign in 2 days, giving me 1 month to raise the funds. I hate asking for money but I can’t do this alone! I believe God will put the people I need in my life to make this dream a reality!

Check back Wednesday for details ūüôā

Chaotic Soul

I did a “live preview” of about 10 themes for the new blog before deciding on this one. It may change again, but the name of the theme was too perfect to pass up for now “the chaotic soul”.

I feel like I am ALL OVER the place right now. I wonder how I’m going to balance all of this. I know there will be times I will doubt, but I also know I am MEANT to do this. I am meant to help mothers and their babies have a better birth experience than the one so many expect now. I am meant to serve my community through midwifery. I am meant to show others how the body is made to birth. I am meant to serve families with patience and understanding. And I am meant to witness the miracle of life again and again.

Here’s to 6.5 years of CHAOS!

quote-Henry-Adams-chaos-often-breeds-life-when-order-breeds-7577 chaos 1

Midwife 2020

I am very excited to announce my new plans for the future.

I have registered for college and plan to become a certified-nurse midwife!

If all goes according to plan I should be entering my final year of schooling in 2020 (hence the name of this post and the new name for the blog).

Bump, Birth, Baby is not gone forever, I plan to change the focus of the blog to documenting my studies, interesting things I learn, and it will be a place where I can vent about the stresses of school. When I return back to “Bump, Birth, Baby”,¬†it will be as a CNM¬†and I will¬†focus on building¬†my new network of referrals I can send clients to.

Going to school was something I thought I’d never do. For a moment I regretted not going straight out of high school, but then I realized there is NO WAY I would have EVER gone for nursing let alone midwifery. It is going to be a long journey but as one of¬†my co-workers¬†says to me frequently in regards to¬†schooling,¬†“7 years is going to pass anyway and at the end of it you can be doing what you’re doing now or have a new¬†career”. Truly though, I know I am not getting that late of a start. I should be a CNM¬†the same year I turn 30.

Your support on the journey means to world to me. I cannot do this alone and I appreciate all the people rooting me on and giving me the tools to succeed.

Stay tuned for more updates, a fundraising campaign, and lots of new knowledge about bumps, births, and babies.

A Hiatus…..of sorts

It is with mixed emotions that I write this post….

Recently life for my family has flipped completely around, mostly in a good a way!

One of these big changes is my work schedule. I have gone from working 1 day per week at the birth center to 3. Due to the time I will be there now, I am no longer able to except doula clients and will only be able to photograph births at Allen Birthing Center.  I will also continue teaching childbirth classes on the weekends. I am debating on continuing to blog and keep up my Facebook page (which I already a pretty poor job of haha). I think I am just going to have to go with the flow and figure things out one day at a time

Giving up a big chunk of my “on-call life” will be weird but I am very excited to see what the future holds ūüôā I am not sure if this change is permanent or temporary and that is the part that makes me nervous, but the possibilities I see are limitless and I know God will direct me to the path I am suppose to take.

change

Mockingbird – a reflection on loss

I try to keep a lot of my personal life separated from my business page, but in this line of work it is hard. I get so emotionally invested in the lives of my students and clients and it is hard to draw boundaries.

I was listening to the radio with my daughter last week when a song came on I hadn’t heard in a couple of years. “Mockingbird” by Rob Thomas is a song meant as a break up song I know, but with where my mindset was last week it struck me differently. Read the lyrics or listen to the song and look at it from the perspective of a family who has lost a young child.

Here we stand
Somewhere in between this moment and the end
Will we bend?
Or will we open up and take this whole thing in?
Everybody else is smiling and their smiles dont fade
And you dont even wonder why you just dont think that way
Maybe you and me got lost somewhere
we can’t move or we can’t stay here
Well maybe we’ve just had enough
well maybe we aint meant for this love
You and me tried everything
But still that mocking bird wont sing
Well man this life seems hard enough
Well maybe we aint meant for this love

Take my hand
And I will lead you through the broken promise land
Yes I can, ah yes I can
I can be there when you need it
I’ll give it all till you can’t feel it anymore
I don’t wanna love you now, if you’ll just leave someday
I don’t wanna turn around, if you’ll just walk away
Maybe you and me got lost somewhere
we can’t move or we can’t stay here
Well maybe we’ve just had enough
well maybe we aint meant for this love
You and me tried everything
But still that mocking bird wont sing
Well man this life seems hard enough
Well maybe we aint meant for this love

Maybe you and me got lost somewhere
We can’t move or we can’t stay here
Well maybe we’ve just had enough
well maybe we aint meant for this love
You and me tried everything
But still that mocking bird wont sing
Well man this life seems hard enough
Well maybe we aint meant for this love

Maybe we aint meant for this love
Maybe we aint meant for this love

Think about the lullaby line¬†“hush little baby don’t say a word mommy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird”.¬† Not every part of the song¬†makes sense from that point of view, but I feel the overall tone sums up how I would feel in that circumstance. I pray that not only do I never have to go through that kind of loss but that everyone reading this does not have to endure that unimaginable pain. For those who have, my heart breaks for you. There are no words, no amount of time¬†that can heal a wound that deep.

I have shared on here before the story of how I became a mom because of another families loss, but I always feel need to share it again. Here are some links to my personal blog that explain the story

http://letters2olivia.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/47-days/

http://letters2olivia.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/your-gaurdian-angel/

Finally I leave you with a few quotes and verses that have been on my heart lately. Please give your babies, new or grown, an extra hug and kiss today. Remember how blessed you are to have them with you.

‚ÄúIf ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.‚Ä̬†
‚Äē¬†¬†¬† A.A. Milne

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a time for everything,     and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,     a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3     a time to kill and a time to heal,     a time to tear down and a time to build, 4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,     a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,     a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6     a time to search and a time to give up,     a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7     a time to tear and a time to mend,     a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8     a time to love and a time to hate,     a time for war and a time for peace.

‚ÄúHow lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.‚Ä̬†
‚Äē¬†¬†¬† A.A. Milne

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

47 Days of Inspiration

This past month has been a rough one. Just at my part-time job alone we had a family lose their baby to SIDS, had clients suffer miscarriages, and had family lose their baby to genetic abnormalities. I needed to write this entry for them and for all of the families suffering out there that I will never know.

The loss of a child is something few people talk about. It is an unimaginable pain for most people and something few want to bring up in conversation, but what if through the pain you changed someone’s life?

It’s crazy to think that I’m writing this blog post and have this website/business because of a lost life.¬†Because of Ava.

I did not know this precious girl or her parents when her fight with CDH began, but by the end of her 47 days here on Earth she had changed my world. Through her mom, Jennifer’s,¬†online journal I followed Ava’s story and prayed harder than ever before that this baby would survive. God had different plans for Ava and the rest of her family. Jennifer took this tragedy and turned it into something beautiful. Just one of her accomplishments is¬† a book she published about Ava’s¬† life and all the people she touched.

Ava would have been 2 today and Jennifer is once again out to inspire the world. Please follow her these next 47 days as she continues to reach others in memory of  her sweet angel baby.

47 Days of Inspiration Facebook Page

My tattoo in honor of Ava

If you’d like to read more about Ava’s journey you can visit her Caringbridge site or order Jennifer’s Book:

Jennifer’s Caringbridge¬†Journal

¬†“Ava’s Story: Miracles Happen”

My personal stories about Ava’s impact on my life:

http://letters2olivia.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/47-days/

http://letters2olivia.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/your-gaurdian-angel/